Transit board approves $580,000 contract for Suquamish bus lane project

The Kitsap Transit board of commissioners voted unanimously last week to approve a project which will construct additional lane improvements at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort.

The $583,425 contract for the project was awarded to Port Madison Enterprises Construction Corporation through a sole source bid, given the fact that the improvements will be built on land owned by the Suquamish Tribe.

“Since this is a sovereign nation’s property, they have requested that they utilize their contractor on this site,” said Steffani Lillie, Kitsap Transit’s capital development director at last week’s meeting.

Lillie also explained at the meeting that there was “a timeline on this project. These funds expire by the end of June and they [PMECC] have assured us that they are able to get the project completed by the end of June.”

According to Lillie the new bus lane project will be a continuation of a previous project which was competitively bid and won by Port Madison Enterprises Construction Corporation.

“On 305 a couple of years ago we built a new bus turnout and the bus island,” Lillie said at the meeting. “The state finished that project with some leftover funds in the budget and we were lucky enough to have those funds returned to us to be able to complete the project for us to be able to turn in, in front of the park and ride at [the] Suquamish casino.”

“we’ll be able to actually utilize the casino property as a turn-around for our buses,” Lillie said. “Instead of having to take it all the way to the end of Bainbridge Island or all the way into Poulsbo to turn around, we’re now able to turn around and have a little bit more frequency on some of our buses.”

The initial project, Lillie explained, was awarded to PMECC and paid for through a $2.3 million Regional Mobility Grant from 2014. Of these funds only about $1.8 million was actually spent. The remainder Lillie noted would be used for the forthcoming project.

“This is basically the same dollars that we didn’t expend, just moved forward into a future biennium,” Lillie said.

Since the new improvements will be built on tribal lands, it was necessary for Kitsap Transit to develop a lease agreement with the Suquamish Tribe for the use of the lane.

“We started out with twenty years but we review it every five years and there’s no true expiration date on it,” Lillie said of the agreement. “It’s basically a continued constant review lease agreement.”

No expenditure was required for the lease and should the arrangement become disagreeable to either party in the future, Lillie said the agreement contains an “out clause” for both agencies which would permit the parties to leave the agreement.

According to the construction company’s website, PME Construction Corporation is a Small Business Association 8(a) certified, small disadvantaged business, located in Poulsbo which specializes in site preparation and other heavy and civil engineering construction.

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